The New Times (Kigali)

16 December 2012

Rwanda: How to Watch Sports With Your Man

One conflict rears its ugly head in many men's lives: sports vs significant other. It's understandable that a woman might feel like second fiddle to her boyfriend's sports obsession. With a few quick etiquette ideas though, women can figure out how to be a part of their guy's life during sports seasons.

We love a girl who truly loves sports; a woman that curves her schedule around her beloved team, and it's real. One of my sports loving female friends is a staunch Chelsea fan who not only makes it a point to catch every game, she also openly vents her frustrations at even the most insignificant of the club's players. Such is her level of involvement in the game.

These kinds of women are always a welcome addition to a group of sports viewers. But if a woman tries too hard, the men will see right through it. Fans who like following fads flock to teams like Arsenal because they're trendy. A woman who roots honestly for random teams like Manchester City, Blackburn Rovers or Wigan is much more respected among males. We notice when women come out of the woodworks to support a team in the playoffs, or to simply follow a crowd.

Another friend, Florence, was a Manchester United fan when we first met about three years ago. After she started dating a buddy of mine, she suddenly became a staunch Arsenal fan. Keep in mind, a Man U to Arsenal shift or vice versa is extremely rare...and quite inexcusable, regardless of one's gender.

If you're unsure of a comment that you want to make during a game, ladies, it's best not to say it. Some women ask questions and make award-winning comments, thereby causing all the guys to glance uneasily at one another. If you're not a sports fan, but you're attending the game, think of yourself as a first week employee in a business meeting. Guys are usually touchy about who they watch the game with, so gatecrashers will be on their radars. Guys are happy to teach a woman about sports, as long as she truly wants to learn.

When a guy starts bringing his girlfriend to sports-watching sessions, it causes ripples across the group. Women who attend will be under the microscope.

Some girlfriends declare they don't give a hoot about sports. They do their own thing while their guy watches sports. When a woman forces her way in, she won't be in good graces with the guys. But if she truly enjoys sports, or stays completely out of it, she'll be the apple of every guy's eye. Don't try too hard if you're not into sports. If you want to be taught, you have to really want to be there. And don't join in just because you don't want your boyfriend to do something without you.

How do you and your boyfriend handle sports? Are his friends easy to be with during sporting events? Are there any lady activities that you would compare to sports for guys? Are you touchy if your boyfriend wants to participate?

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